Abridge Zola Theme

Jake G May 17, 2022 Updated: July 21, 2023 #Features #Config

A fast, lightweight, and modern Zola theme utilizing abridge.css (a class-light semantic HTML CSS Framework). Perfect Lighthouse, YellowLabTools, and Observatory scores. Here is a Zola Themes Benchmarks Page.



Quick Start

This theme requires version 0.18.0 or later of Zola

git clone https://github.com/jieiku/abridge.git
cd abridge
zola serve
# open in the browser


The Quick Start shows how to run the theme directly. Next we will use abridge as a theme to a NEW site.

1: Create a new zola site

zola init mysite
cd mysite

2: Install Abridge

Add the theme as a git submodule:

git init  # if your project is a git repository already, ignore this command
git submodule add https://github.com/jieiku/abridge.git themes/abridge

Or clone the theme into your themes directory:

git clone https://github.com/jieiku/abridge.git themes/abridge

3: Configuration

Copy some files from the theme directory to your project's root directory:

touch templates/.gitkeep
rsync themes/abridge/config.toml config.toml
rsync themes/abridge/content/_index.md content/
rsync themes/abridge/COPY-TO-ROOT-SASS/* sass/
rsync themes/abridge/netlify.toml netlify.toml
rsync themes/abridge/package.json package.json
rsync -r themes/abridge/content/static content/

Uncomment the theme line in your project's root config.toml:

sed -i 's/^#theme = "abridge"/theme = "abridge"/' config.toml

4: Add new content

Copy the content from the theme directory to your project or make a new post:

rsync -r themes/abridge/content .

5: Run the project

Just run zola serve in the root path of the project:

zola serve

Zola will start the dev web server, accessible by default at

Saved changes will live reload in the browser. (press ctrl+f5, or while developing set pwa=false in config.toml)


You can set the number of home page items by editing content\_index.md file and adjusting paginate_by

Sass Overrides

Abridge SASS variables can be overrided by editing sass\abridge.scss file in your project's root sass folder.

Page Width

$mw:75%,// max-width

Abridge Theme Modes

$abridgeMode: "switcher",//valid values: switcher, auto, dark, light

Colors and Styles

You can specify which color template you want to use as a base:

$color: "orange",// color template to use/override: orange, blue, blueshade

Then override individual colors as needed:

/// Dark Colors
$f1d: #ccc,// Font Color Primary
$f2d: #ddd,// Font Color Headers
$c1d: #111,// Background Color Primary
$c2d: #222,// Background Color Secondary

You should configure which social icons you plan to use. (makes the css file size smaller)

To simply turn them all off you can set $enable-icons: false (disables ALL icons, navigation, search, etc.)

Otherwise enable only the icons you need, eg for mail you would set $icon-mail: true

You should then disable all the other icons that you do not use.

Theme for noscript visits

If you have abridge configured to use the switcher mode instead of auto/dark/light, then your site will have a button that allows the visitor to toggle the theme.

If your visitor uses noscript or some other javascript blocking browser addon, then they will be stuck with whatever the configured default theme is for the switcher mode.

To adjust this mode you would set the following two config values in abridge.scss AND config.toml:

$switcherDefault: "dark",// default nojs switcher mode: dark, light (make sure to also set js_switcher_default in config.toml)
js_switcher_default = "dark" # default nojs switcher mode: dark, light (make sure to also set $switcherDefault in abridge.scss)

By default abridge uses dark mode for the switcher, so unless you want to set the default mode to light for nojs/noscript visitors, then you do not need to worry about these settings.

Config.toml Configuration

Most Options in config.toml are self documenting. (obvious between name of config value and comments)

Abridge will work with a barebones config.toml because default values are provided in the template files.

I recommend copying the entire config.toml file as outlined in Step 3 as it provides all configurable values.

Set a field in extra with a key of menu and menu_footer. If you want the link to open in a new tab/browser then set blank = true. If a link should have a trailing slash at the end of the url set slash = true. (generally all links should have a trailing slash unless its a file link such as sitemap.xml)

menu = [
  {url = "about", name = "About", slash = true, blank = false},
  {url = "posts", name = "Posts", slash = true, blank = false},
  {url = "categories", name = "Categories", slash = true, blank = false},
  {url = "tags", name = "Tags", slash = true, blank = false},
menu_footer = [
  {url = "about", name = "About", slash = true, blank = false},
  {url = "contact", name = "Contact", slash = true, blank = false},
  {url = "privacy", name = "Privacy", slash = true, blank = false},
  {url = "sitemap.xml", name = "Sitemap", slash = false, blank = true},

SEO and Header Tags

You can review the SEO tags in the head macro located at templates/macros/head.html, all configurable values should be in config.toml under config.extra or in the content markdown files.

In your post markdown file you should set a title less than 60 characters and a description between 80 and 160 characters in length. The description is what is displayed in search results below the page title. Anywhere that you do not set a page description, the primary site config.description will be used instead.

You should also set page specific keywords unless your keywords defined in config.toml suffice, any keywords that you add to the page are in addition to the ones defined in config.toml, so do not add those same keywords to your page keywords.

You can optionally also set a page specific image for search results by using page.extra.thumbnail. Facebook, Twitter, and OpenGraph Cards are supported (automatic image & description for posted links). OpenGraph recommends 1200 x 630 (1.9:1). Twitter recommends 2:1 for large and 1:1 for small. If you do not set a page specific thumbnail then the banner defined in config.toml will be used instead.

Refer to overview-images for an example:

title = "Image Shortcodes"
description = "Images can be embedded directly using markdown `![Ferris](ferris.svg)`, but using a shortcode prevents CLS by explicitly setting the width and height."
date = 2021-05-19
draft = false

tags = ["Features","Shortcodes","Images"]
toc = true
keywords = "Image, Markdown, Shortcodes, Swap"
thumbnail = "ferris-gesture.png"

KaTeX Math Notation

KaTeX can be used to display complex mathematics, it is a "Fast math typesetting for the web."

You can see a demo on this page.

For better performance I recommend only enabling math on a per page bases in your post.md files, instead of in your main config.toml file.

PWA, Progressive Web App

Abridge theme has PWA support. You can install the entire site as an app and have it work offline. To try it out simply use google chrome or your phone and go here: abridge.netlify.app

If using Chrome on desktop then look at the end of the address bar for the install button. On Android you should get a popup to install, you can also install from the 3 dot menu in the top right corner. Once you have the PWA installed, you can go completely offline and you will still be able to browse or search the site!

To use it in your own instance you will need to edit static/sw.js for the list of files to cache. Technically you do not need to edit sw.js, but if even a single file in the cache list is missing then it wont pre cache the list, so it will only cache as you browse.

There is an npm script to generate the file cache list and minification npm run pwa. My netlify.toml file automatically runs this npm script during site deployment, so everything is automatic. If Zola was able to template a js file then it might be possible to generate the list of cache files dynamically at build.

The PWA feature is also easy to disable by simply setting pwa = false in config.toml

Performance Optimization

Javascript files

All javascript can be disabled in config.toml:

build_search_index = false

js_bundle = false
js_copycode = false
js_email_encode = false
js_prestyle = false
js_switcher = false

These are the javascript files used by Abridge:

js_bundle option

js_bundle when set to true serves a bundle file instead of all of the individual js files.

All Bundles are defined in package.json

A Bundle can be generated from the package.json scripts using npm:

Switch Search Library

In addition to elasticlunr abridge also supports tinysearch and stork.

tinysearch demo: https://jieiku.github.io/abridge-tinysearch/

stork demo: https://jieiku.github.io/abridge-stork/

To use tinysearch/stork extra steps are required.

Switch to tinysearch:

First you have to install tinysearch so that you can build the index:

git clone https://github.com/tinysearch/tinysearch
cd tinysearch
cargo build --release
sudo cp ./target/release/tinysearch /usr/local/bin/tinysearch
exit # reload shell environment

Switch Abridge to tinysearch:

npm run tinysearch
zola build
tinysearch --optimize --path static public/data_tinysearch/index.html
# zola serve

Switch to stork:

First you have to install stork so that you can build the index:

git clone https://github.com/jameslittle230/stork
cd stork
cargo build --release
sudo cp ./target/release/stork /usr/local/bin/stork
exit # reload shell environment

Switch Abridge to stork:

npm run stork
zola build
stork build --input public/data_stork/index.html --output static/stork.st
# zola serve

Switch to elasticlunr:

npm run elasticlunr

Switch to nosearch:

npm run nosearch


The theme switcher relies on javascript to work, it applies the .light class to the root documentElement. The file that handles this (theme.js) is tiny and optimized and it is the first file loaded in the head, so the performance hit is minimal. Without the Theme switcher you can still use The automatic Theme which uses the Browser/OS preference settings. You can even install a Firefox plugin to quickly switch between the two.

Optimize PNG/ICO files

Good tool to generate maskable icons for manifest.json: maskable.app

All png files can be optimized using oxipng:

cd static
oxipng -o max --strip all -a -Z *.png

With larger displays and greater pixel density becoming common it is probably a good idea to use atleast a littly bit of lossy compression. For example you can use pngquant with a 93% quality and you will often get images around 1/2 the size. Understand that pngquant is cumulative, so you should keep your original images somewhere, and only ever use pngquant once per image, if you use it again and again on the same image then you will lower the image quality each time. Always use oxipng afterwards, oxipng is lossless.

pngquant --skip-if-larger --strip --quality=93-93 --speed 1 *.png
oxipng -o max --strip all -a -Z *.png

leanify can compress farther for both png and ico files:

git clone https://github.com/JayXon/Leanify
cd Leanify
sudo cp leanify /usr/local/bin/leanify
exit  #launch new terminal
leanify -i 7777 *.png
leanify -i 7777 *.ico

Pre gzip/brotli content

If you are serving your site with nginx, you can pre gzip your content.

(Netlify brotli gzips your files automatically, no exta work required.)

First configure nginx:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

gzip on;
gzip_vary on;
gzip_proxied expired no-cache no-store private auth;
#gzip_proxied any;
gzip_comp_level 9;
gzip_buffers 64 16k;
#gzip_buffers 16 8k;
gzip_http_version 1.1;
gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript image/svg+xml application/xhtml+xml application/x-javascript application/x-font-ttf application/vnd.ms-fontobject font/opentype font/ttf font/eot font/otf;
#gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

Then you can gzip/brotli your files:

zola build
find ~/.dev/abridge/public -type f -regextype posix-extended -regex '.*\.(htm|html|css|js|xml|xsl|txt|woff|woff2|svg|otf|eot|ttf)' -exec gzip --best -k -f {} \+ -exec brotli --best -f {} \;
rsync -zvrh ~/.dev/abridge/public/ web:/var/www/abridge

Nginx does not come by default with brotli support, but adding it was not difficult.